Can all contaminants be seen with naked eyes?
Updated: Feb 24
As a part 2 of #knowyouroil series, we will discuss about Particle Contamination. Whenever we talk about contamination the first thing that comes to our mind is solid particles that we can see or feel. But what we do not understand is how big a particle can really cause wear and tear to your machines, can all contaminants be seen with naked eyes? Is it too late to wait until then?
To answer the above questions we must first understand the actual clearance size of the different types of lubrication film formed between rolling and rotating components which is essential for providing proper lubrication. Oil film thickness in machinery is measured in microns (µm), or one-millionth of a meter.
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Below are the finest tolerance found in different types of components.
When small particles, which cannot be seen through human eyes, pass through the critical machine parts under load, they create small microtears which get transformed into cracks over a period of time due to continuous stress and strain conditions leading to the more fine generation and hence increase contamination.
The contaminants that are considered to be most damaged are from size 2 to 20 µm and avoiding these are key to keeping your machinery breakdown free.
But it is also important to understand when to call the oil clean and when dirty, as it is understood that changing oil very frequently and maintenance every time is not feasible.
Below chart shows us what particle levels are admissible and what harms our system.
But knowing this is not enough if we don’t know when to get oil sampling and testing done. Below chart provides an estimation for testing and the type of test to be conducted.
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We at Minimac System Pvt. Ltd. not only design a maintenance schedule for your lubrication oil but also provide OIL TESTING and FILTRATION services and the filtered oil complies to the ISO standard of Super Clean oil as we stand for MINImum MAChinery Maintenance.